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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Mar 16, 2012 3:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: top Sugarees

The problem I have with versions of Sugaree is that many have one great guitar solo, but Jerry seldom sustains a high level of playing across all three breaks.

Lewiston is a case in point. Jerry’s first solo is just brilliant beginning to end, then in his second break he does some nice channeling of Dick Dale but with relatively little interesting musical content (for me, anyway), and in his third break he sounds like he’s headed in an interesting direction but cuts it short and goes into the last verse. Still, I was very glad to hear that first solo, so thanks. Fascinating how Brent takes over what before Keith’s retirement had been Bob’s comp-ing role, while Bob moves to bottleneck slide behind the end of Jerry’s first solo.

The standout version for me is from the 5-28-77 Hartford show, out of a show-opening Bertha > Good Lovin’ >. Jerry’s first solo has some intriguing harmonies, with Phil playfully disporting with him in places rather than just providing his usual understated foundation. At the beginning of the second solo, Jerry and Bob provide subtle ensemble accompaniment to Keith’s otherwise typically uninteresting solo, and then Jerry plays around with some syncopated rhythms in building to the climax at the end of the second solo. But Jerry’s third solo is simply astonishing, with some of the most beautiful liquescent crystalline tones I ever hope to hear, leading into his heartrending delivery of the final verse. Also, the reverb in the large stadium nicely smooths out the vocals throughout.

Another favorite of mine is the JGB version from the 5-21-76 Orpheum Theatre show that was released on the excellent “Don’t Let Go” CDs. Jerry's first and third solos are both fine, with some nice note-bending work, sort of like in the first solo of Lewiston but even more bendy.

And your post led me finally to realize my long-intended plan of listening to versions of Sugaree uninterrupted for a whole hour, so thanks!

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Poster: RiverRat1492 Date: Mar 17, 2012 4:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: top Sugarees

I always like a Sugaree. I also enjoy the ones mentioned (will check out the 5-28-77 version) but a couple of my favorites that I think are worth a listen are 12-28-79 and 11-24-78. 12-28 also has a nice MNS. 11-24 is the/a lost voice show. Vocals obviously have a different sound to them. Not just the reason I like it, but I just like it.
I like the fact that the question was NOT for favorite but for favoriteS. To narrow down best versions is always tough or impossible.
Good posts here as always.